The Hong Kong government will launch a public consultation later this year on the future of public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong. Frederic Ma Si-hang, the territory’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, said the consultation would be detailed and could last six months. ”Some RTHK staff might worry the restructuring exercise is the equivalent of dismantling the station. I don’t want them to look at the issue from this angle,” Ma said.
RTHK has been under a political cloud since March. Then the government laid out plans for a statutory independent public broadcaster, but warned that RTHK might not be that company. Since the Spring RTHK has scored a series of own goals. Director of broadcasting Chui Pui-hing resigned following a well-publicized sex scandal. More recently, assistant broadcasting director Cheung Man-sun was arrested for drink driving and only last week prominent DJ Leung Ka-fai admitted fraud charges. Ma said the series of events had “damaged (RTHK’s)” image.
Applications for Chui’s replacement closed on Friday.